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Post-doctoral Fellowship — Geospatial and Economic Analysis of Chinese Development Projects

The Global Research Institute (GRI) at William & Mary invites applications for a post-doctoral scholar position with a focus on geospatial and/or economic analysis of development projects financed by China. This position is designed to strengthen GRI’s research capacity in this area, increase the diversity of our scholarly community, provide a mentored learning experience to the postdoctoral fellow, and support and provide additional research opportunities for undergraduate students. GRI seeks to attract promising researchers and educators from different backgrounds, races, ethnic groups, and other diverse populations whose life experiences and research experiences will contribute significantly to the academic mission of William & Mary and GRI.

The postdoctoral scholar will support ongoing research on Chinese development finance at AidData (an international development research lab within the GRI), and fully integrate into GRI’s thriving multidisciplinary international development research community. Additionally, for each year of the award, s/he will teach one course and direct a team of undergraduate researchers. Throughout this period, s/he will receive mentoring from faculty members and/or senior researchers affiliated with the GRI in a variety of academic development areas including: his/her ongoing research interests, how to pursue funded research, how to organize an undergraduate research lab, and how to improve his/her classroom teaching.

This position is located at AidData at William & Mary's Global Research Institute in Williamsburg, Virginia. This is a 12-month position, beginning in summer 2022 and renewable for a second year contingent on performance. The position will be open until filled, with a review of applicants beginning on December 20, 2021. All staff and faculty must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Proof of vaccination must be provided on the employee’s first day of employment. If an accommodation is needed, please contact William & Mary Human Resources.

Required Qualifications

The successful candidate must:

  • Have a PhD by the time appointment begins (June 2022) in economics, political science, public policy, geography/GIS, data science, computer science, or another relevant field;  
  • Have a strong interest in building and pursuing a policy research agenda that makes use of AidData’s Global Chinese Development Finance Dataset, Version 2.0 — in particular, its geospatial features (see and;
  • Possess advanced quantitative methods training and expertise in: GIS and geospatial analysis, machine learning, distributed/parallel computing, data analytics;
  • Demonstrate experience working with one or more of the following software and tools: Python and relevant GIS/ML packages (e.g., Rasterio, GeoPandas, Tensorflow, PyTorch), QGISmachine;
  • Demonstrate strong organizational and communication skills

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience conducting externally-sponsored international development research;
  • Engaged in applied/policy research that is directly relevant to China’s Belt and Road Initiative;
  • Experience working collaboratively on applied/policy research projects with large, multi-disciplinary teams;
  • Track record of published in peer-reviewed academic journals and/or presenting research at major academic conferences;
  • Experience preparing grant proposals  and securing external research funds;
  • Experience teaching and/or mentoring undergraduate students;
  • Willingness/ability to travel overseas

Application Instructions

For more details and to apply, please visit the position listing at the William & Mary Employment Opportunities portal. There, click Apply for this Job to apply with your resume/curriculum vitae, cover letter, and a minimum of 3 references. For full consideration, submit applications by the review date, December 20, 2021. Applications received after the review date will be considered until the posting closes.

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement

William & Mary values diversity and invites applications from underrepresented groups who will enrich the research, teaching, and service missions of the university. William & Mary is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer and encourages applications from women, minorities, protected veterans, and individuals with disabilities.